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Gobi Flag

Gobi Flag - American Museum of Natural History

Gobi Flag

The “Gobi Flag” is an artefact of the Museum’s 1920s expedition to the Gobi Desert. The expedition leader was Roy Chapman Andrews (1884 – 1960) who was an American explorer, adventurer and naturalist who later became the director of the American Museum of Natural History. The expedition made important discoveries and brought the first-known fossil dinosaur eggs to the museum.

This flag was placed on one of the first trucks to ever cross the Gobi desert in the 1920s. Its tattered condition is the results of the fierce sandstorms that the expedition had to face. The team also used camels to carry fuel and equipment for the scientists and assistants. The expedition found no human fossils, but they discovered numerous fossils of reptiles and mammals dating back to the time of the dinosaurs.

The Gobi Desert is a vast desert region that covers parts of northern and northwestern China, and of southern Mongolia. Archaeologists and palaeontologists excavations in the Nemegt Basin in Mongolia, have over the years unearthed fossil treasures, including early mammals, dinosaur eggs, and prehistoric stone implements, some 100,000 years old.

Andrews writings about his adventures Gobi Desert and Mongolia plus his exploits made him famous. Andrews and other explorers from the period served as the model for the academic adventurer heroes in adventure films of the 1940s and 1950s, who in turn inspired the movie character of Indiana Jones.

Gobi Flag

  • Title:                Gobi Flag
  • Date:               1920s
  • Significance:    Used during the 1920’s Gobi Desert Museum’s Expeditions
  • Museum:          American Museum of Natural History

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“Isn’t it astonishing that all these secrets have been preserved for so many years just so we could discover them!”
– Orville Wright


Photo Credit: JOM